Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > Alaska Airlines | Mileage Plan
Reload this Page >

Unable to upgrade to Premium seat on Corporate booking?

Unable to upgrade to Premium seat on Corporate booking?

Old Jan 31, 19, 8:23 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: USA, Hilton
Programs: United, Hilton
Posts: 3,769
Unable to upgrade to Premium seat on Corporate booking?

I apologize if this has been discussed elsewhere already, but I could not find it.

When I book airlines via our Corporate travel, I book economy (company policy) then go to the airline website and pay to upgrade to Delta Comfort, etc.
For some reason, I'm unable to do that for AS. When I pull up the seat map under my booking on AS.com, the Premium seats are blocked and unable to be selected.
It's been like ever since I can remember. Corporate travel has always told me it's AS's fault, and AS has told me it must be my company's policy (which it isn't, since I'm able to do the upgrade on my own with UA and DL).

Does anyone else have this problem? Is there a workaround to this? I've called phone agents multiple times, and every one of them has told me they cannot override the system and process seat upgrade purchase over the phone. This is another one of the reasons why I'm having a difficult time flying AS even though my home is their hub.
evergrn is offline  
Old Jan 31, 19, 9:26 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: British Columbia
Programs: AS MVPG75K, UA PP, Marriott Bonvoy Titanium
Posts: 3,058
Originally Posted by evergrn View Post
I apologize if this has been discussed elsewhere already, but I could not find it.

When I book airlines via our Corporate travel, I book economy (company policy) then go to the airline website and pay to upgrade to Delta Comfort, etc.
For some reason, I'm unable to do that for AS. When I pull up the seat map under my booking on AS.com, the Premium seats are blocked and unable to be selected.
It's been like ever since I can remember. Corporate travel has always told me it's AS's fault, and AS has told me it must be my company's policy (which it isn't, since I'm able to do the upgrade on my own with UA and DL).

Does anyone else have this problem? Is there a workaround to this? I've called phone agents multiple times, and every one of them has told me they cannot override the system and process seat upgrade purchase over the phone. This is another one of the reasons why I'm having a difficult time flying AS even though my home is their hub.
Is the corporate system booking you into a Saver Fare? It would be booking class X! If so, they are equivalent to BE on the other airlines with limited flexibility.

James
Flying for Fun is offline  
Old Jan 31, 19, 9:47 pm
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: USA, Hilton
Programs: United, Hilton
Posts: 3,769
Originally Posted by Flying for Fun View Post
Is the corporate system booking you into a Saver Fare? It would be booking class X! If so, they are equivalent to BE on the other airlines with limited flexibility.
No it's not.
Basic Economy fares (including AS' equivalent) are all out of policy with our Corporate and therefore it's impossible to book such fare on any airline.
It's just regular Main Cabin economy ticket. I'm able to go to AS.com, pull up my reservation, select any seat in Coach including all aisles and windows. It's just that Premium seats have been blocked out, and it's been this way every single time. It stays this way even during the OLCI window (when I know for a fact that there're still seats up there available).
Again, it's never a problem with other airlines. AS keeps telling me they don't understand either.
evergrn is offline  
Old Jan 31, 19, 10:22 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: British Columbia
Programs: AS MVPG75K, UA PP, Marriott Bonvoy Titanium
Posts: 3,058
Originally Posted by evergrn View Post
No it's not.
Basic Economy fares (including AS' equivalent) are all out of policy with our Corporate and therefore it's impossible to book such fare on any airline.
It's just regular Main Cabin economy ticket. I'm able to go to AS.com, pull up my reservation, select any seat in Coach including all aisles and windows. It's just that Premium seats have been blocked out, and it's been this way every single time. It stays this way even during the OLCI window (when I know for a fact that there're still seats up there available).
Again, it's never a problem with other airlines. AS keeps telling me they don't understand either.
Interesting. Have you asked to speak with an AS supervisor to see if they can delve into it further? Is there anything in the corporate travel portal that is flagging it to disallow changes outside the system? Just some thoughts, I have never booked a flight through one so I don't have direct knowledge of how they operate. Do you have status with AS? Is your MP# showing on the reservation?

James
Flying for Fun is offline  
Old Jan 31, 19, 10:32 pm
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: USA, Hilton
Programs: United, Hilton
Posts: 3,769
Originally Posted by Flying for Fun View Post
Interesting. Have you asked to speak with an AS supervisor to see if they can delve into it further? Is there anything in the corporate travel portal that is flagging it to disallow changes outside the system? Just some thoughts, I have never booked a flight through one so I don't have direct knowledge of how they operate. Do you have status with AS? Is your MP# showing on the reservation?
No, never spoken with a supervisor. Just have talked to a lot of different reps over the past couple years. Maybe I need to do that.
I don't see anything like that on the corporate travel booking site. Have no status with AS (but then again I have no status with DL either). My AS# (as are UA# and DL#) is on my corporate travel profile. I don't think that's an issue anyways, because my corporate booking comes up under my booked itineraries on AS.com when I log into my account.
This problem of being unable to purchase seat upgrade is unique to AS, in my case.
evergrn is offline  
Old Feb 1, 19, 12:42 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Between SFO and STS
Programs: Alaska MVP Gold, United Serf, Delta Gold
Posts: 648
Originally Posted by evergrn View Post
No, never spoken with a supervisor. Just have talked to a lot of different reps over the past couple years. Maybe I need to do that.
I don't see anything like that on the corporate travel booking site. Have no status with AS (but then again I have no status with DL either). My AS# (as are UA# and DL#) is on my corporate travel profile. I don't think that's an issue anyways, because my corporate booking comes up under my booked itineraries on AS.com when I log into my account.
This problem of being unable to purchase seat upgrade is unique to AS, in my case.
Are both legs of your trip on AS? Have you ever booked a single one way with this phenomenon happening?
DrAlex is offline  
Old Feb 1, 19, 1:26 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: EUG/PDX
Programs: AS MVP Au, UA Ag, Marriott Ti, IHG Au, HH Ag, Nexus, Pilot FlyingJ Preferred, *$ Au
Posts: 4,291
I would suggest you, or your company's travel coordinator, request that the travel agency ticketing underneath Concur work with AS directly to figure out what's happening and resolve it. As the TA, they should have access to TA specific resources to figure it out, starting with the restricted portal on the AS website, and they own the ticket that's having problems.
MSPeconomist and LIH Prem like this.
rustykettel is offline  
Old Feb 1, 19, 7:39 am
  #8  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Minneapolis: DL DM charter 2.3MM
Programs: A3*Gold, SPG Plat, HyattDiamond, MarriottPP, LHW exAccess, ICI, Raffles Amb, NW PE MM, TWA Gold MM
Posts: 84,943
Assuming that these are AS marketed (no codeshares) flights and ticketed on AS stock, it might be helpful to talk to someone in tech support at AS.

Depending on how your corporate travel is set up, you might need to have the the person responsible for the corporate travel contract with AS (if there is one) contact AS, although this will call attention to the fact that you've been purchasing upgraded/special seats (or even upgrades to FC) on other carriers, which might be tolerated but formally against policy (if it is).
MSPeconomist is offline  
Old Feb 1, 19, 10:02 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Seattle WA
Programs: AS MVP Gold, Marriott LT Gold
Posts: 1,707
This has been a bug on AS' side for years. Certain third party tickets cannot buy Premium Class seats -- even phone agents can't sell them.

Yes, AS IT is that much of a mess that they can't figure out how to take money customers want to give them, 3+ years after rolling out the product
DrAlex, milypan and jjmadison like this.
Tracer_SEA is offline  
Old Feb 1, 19, 12:31 pm
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: USA, Hilton
Programs: United, Hilton
Posts: 3,769
Originally Posted by Tracer_SEA View Post
This has been a bug on AS' side for years. Certain third party tickets cannot buy Premium Class seats -- even phone agents can't sell them.

Yes, AS IT is that much of a mess that they can't figure out how to take money customers want to give them, 3+ years after rolling out the product
Okay, so this is a known issue with AS? You've had this same issue also?
You say certain third party tickets, meaning some are affected and others are not?
If this has been a known issue for 3+ years, then I guess it's difficult to expect a resolution anytime soon.

Is there anybody else out there with the same issues as me for CORPORATE booking?

Originally Posted by DrAlex View Post
Are both legs of your trip on AS? Have you ever booked a single one way with this phenomenon happening?
This is an interesting question.
Most of my corporate booking has been multi-airline itineraries. Like DL-AS, UA-AS.
I don't know if I've ever booked AS both ways.
It's interesting you mention this, because one rep told me that the reason I can't do the upgrade is because I'm not flying AS both ways.
However, when I pointed out that I had no such issue with other carriers on multi-airline itineraries involving AS, she didn't know what else to say.

With regard to suggestion that I try to force my Corporate travel to do something about this, I've been down that road to some extent without success although I could try to escalate things. However, if Tracer_SEA is correct that this is an AS issue (and it seems to me that it more likely is), then I think hammering on corporate travel side might be low-yield.
evergrn is offline  
Old Feb 1, 19, 12:39 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Between SFO and STS
Programs: Alaska MVP Gold, United Serf, Delta Gold
Posts: 648
Originally Posted by evergrn View Post
Is there anybody else out there with the same issues as me for CORPORATE booking?

Most of my corporate booking has been multi-airline itineraries. Like DL-AS, UA-AS.
I serve as my wife's corporate booking agent - her employer uses CONCUR, which of course is stupid... But, that's for another thread.
The reason I asked my questions is I recently ran into this exact problem with a booking for her on a UA-AS trip. I could select and pay for a UA E+ seat, but not for the AS leg (exactly as you describe). My solution was to cancel the AS leg (within 24 hrs) and rebook it as a one way. After I did that, it did allow me to select a PC seat on the AS flight. Now, I'm not completely certain WHY this happened - dunno if the ticket was on UA stock or because it was a third party thingy. But, I would suggest trying two one ways and see if that solves your issue.
DrAlex is offline  
Old Feb 1, 19, 12:46 pm
  #12  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Bay Area, CA
Programs: UA Plat 2MM; AS MVP Gold 75K
Posts: 34,952
I had an AS ticket (booked thru AS) get a schedule change, and post-reissue, I can't pick Premium Seats. Phone/text support can do it though.
channa is offline  
Old Feb 1, 19, 9:48 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Programs: AS MVPG, HH G
Posts: 217
I book through Concur every month or so and the only time I have seen this come up is on an upcoming reservation where I had to call in and make a change (website doesn't recognize status so always wants to charge a change fee) and afterwards alaskaair.com had all the premium seats blocked. The app, however, showed most all of them as available.
RaginPlainsman is offline  
Old Feb 2, 19, 3:11 am
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: USA, Hilton
Programs: United, Hilton
Posts: 3,769
Originally Posted by DrAlex View Post
I serve as my wife's corporate booking agent - her employer uses CONCUR, which of course is stupid... But, that's for another thread.
The reason I asked my questions is I recently ran into this exact problem with a booking for her on a UA-AS trip. I could select and pay for a UA E+ seat, but not for the AS leg (exactly as you describe). My solution was to cancel the AS leg (within 24 hrs) and rebook it as a one way. After I did that, it did allow me to select a PC seat on the AS flight. Now, I'm not completely certain WHY this happened - dunno if the ticket was on UA stock or because it was a third party thingy. But, I would suggest trying two one ways and see if that solves your issue.
That's a very clever thing you did! And I guess I'm glad to know that this is a systemic issue and not just some sort of a disconnect between AS and my corporate travel that's unique to us. Hopefully enough people call AS and complain, and then maybe they can get a fix.

So booking two one-way is a potential workaround.
I just don't know if I'll be able to pull that off for corporate booking. The way my corporate website works (as you may already know) is that you book a flight and then the website will then create a trip around that flight. After that, you add your hotel and your car to that trip, but I'd have to see if I can add another flight. If I can't, then booking two one-ways separately will end up creating two separate trips for what is essentially one trip. And that may end up causing problems when it goes to the higher-ups for their approval.

I wish I could book and pay for stuff myself and have it reimbursed. Just got back from a trip where the corporate negotiated hotel rate was $15 more per night than what I could've gotten had I booked it myself. But that's a whole another topic.
DrAlex likes this.
evergrn is offline  
Old Feb 3, 19, 11:40 am
  #15  
FlyerTalk Evangelist, Moderator, Information Desk, Ambassador, Alaska Airlines
Hilton Contributor BadgeIHG Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: ANC, MRI
Programs: AS MVP Gold75K, AS 1MM, Maika`i Card, AGR, HH Gold, Hertz PC, Marriott LTG, SPG Gold, CO, 7H, BA, 8E
Posts: 41,322
Originally Posted by evergrn View Post
That's a very clever thing you did! And I guess I'm glad to know that this is a systemic issue and not just some sort of a disconnect between AS and my corporate travel that's unique to us. Hopefully enough people call AS and complain, and then maybe they can get a fix.

So booking two one-way is a potential workaround.
I just don't know if I'll be able to pull that off for corporate booking. The way my corporate website works (as you may already know) is that you book a flight and then the website will then create a trip around that flight. After that, you add your hotel and your car to that trip, but I'd have to see if I can add another flight. If I can't, then booking two one-ways separately will end up creating two separate trips for what is essentially one trip. And that may end up causing problems when it goes to the higher-ups for their approval.

I wish I could book and pay for stuff myself and have it reimbursed. Just got back from a trip where the corporate negotiated hotel rate was $15 more per night than what I could've gotten had I booked it myself. But that's a whole another topic.
Often there are agreements where companies will get a kickback of hotel costs making the net cost less. (can also apply to airlines to a lesser degree) Or there is a revenue guarantee for the property that your organization will book x amounts of rooms. If under, they are still paying for them.

Finally have had opportunities to use a corporate booking portal- they did give me the option to change hotels/rental car pickups; was not the most straight forward, but the options were there.

Each company I imagine uses different software though- so it's probably a YMMV situation.

Ultimately, I think this is something that AS and Concur will need to liaise on...will require escalation on both ends and someone committed to finding a resolution.
Often1 likes this.
beckoa is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread